Ericsson inks deal to prepare Russia’s MTS network for 5G

 

Russia’s largest communications service provider, MTS, has extended its partnership with Ericsson to include a large-scale network modernization of its 2G/3G/4G infrastructure over large parts of central Russia.

The Swedish vendor said the new modernization agreement will allow the Russian carrier to pave the way for the future launch of 5G technology.

Following this new agreement, Ericsson is now the single largest supplier of mobile network infrastructure to MTS.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ericsson will supply MTS with Ericsson Radio System products and solutions for modernization of several thousand sites across 16 districts in central Russia. The project will continue until 2026.

Ericsson said that the deployment of these solutions will significantly increase the performance and capacity of MTS’ network, enabling the service provider to quickly deploy 5G coverage and services on existing network infrastructure.

As part of the deal, the vendor will deploy its Spectrum Sharing technology to allow MTS to switch on 5G through remote software installation using existing frequency bands and infrastructure. Enhanced AI solutions integrated across Ericsson’s portfolio will also improve network performance, as well as the Ericsson Network Performance Subscription Service with predictive analytics for MTS’ network technical support.

“The new agreement on the supply of equipment is another important step in the cooperation of both companies aimed at building the physical infrastructure of the digital economy in Russia,” said Viktor Belov, MTS CTO.

“With the signing of the contract MTS accelerates the modernization of the radio network in the regions of the Central Federal District to meet the growing needs of our subscribers in IoT services, speed and amount of data traffic. The implementation of this major project will also give us the opportunity in the future in a relatively short time and due to balanced investments to provide 5G coverage on the existing LTE network,” Belov added.

“Ericsson and MTS are united by many years of successful cooperation, and we are pleased to support further strengthening of our partner’s position in the Russian market by introducing 5G services and expanding the geography of our cooperation in Russia — now in the Central Federal District,” said Sebastian Tolstoy, head of Ericsson in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. “The replacement of the previously used network solutions with advanced equipment from Ericsson will help MTS to use all key advantages of leadership in new technologies and deploy a new generation network as early as possible.”

To date, Ericsson says it has signed 86 commercial 5G agreements or contracts with unique operators worldwide and the company’s portfolio is currently used in 27 live 5G networks.

In related news, Russian operators Rostelecom and MegaFon were granted access to 5G-suitable spectrum to launch joint trialslocal media reported.

ComNews.ru stated the Russian State Commission on Radio Frequencies (SCRF) allocated spectrum in the 24.65GHz to 27.5GHz bands to New Digital Solutions, a joint venture by the operators.

Comnews.ru  also reported that the Russian regulator had also decided to delay the first 5G auctions in the country, after receiving comments related to the inefficiency of allocating frequency bands in lots.

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